Easter Island drug boosts lifespan


Scientists have developed an ‘anti-ageing’ pill created from a chemical found in the soil of Easter Island—a Polynesian land mass in the South Pacific famous for its monumental statues.

The drug, called rapamycin, is currently used to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs and as an experimental cancer treatment. Studies show that adding rapamycin to the diet of older mice gave them the human equivalent of thirteen extra years of life.

Although it is not yet suitable for use on people, researchers believe that further studies could lead to a genuine ‘fountain of youth’ drug that could extend people’s life spans by more than a decade.